The ultimate in comfort food must be any meat dish, or meat and creamy mashed potatoes smothered in a rich, sticky onion gravy. The bringing together of sweet onions and a dark rich sauce - which is both sweet and savoury at the same - is a classic of both the British and Irish kitchens.
Making onion gravy is so simple, why not make double, even triple quantity. Use what you need then freeze the rest in portions. The gravy freezes so well and will keep for up to three months, Simply defrost in a pan or the microwave.
- 2 medium red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoon vegetable or cold-pressed rapeseed oil
- 2 tablespoon butter (room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 750ml (3 cups) beef stock
- 4 teaspoon corn flour/corn starch
- 4 teaspoon cold water
- Salt and black pepper
- To Finish the Gravy (optional)
- 1 teaspoon ice cold butter
- Melt the oil and butter in a large saucepan over a gentle heat to ensure the butter does not burn.
- Add the thinly sliced onion to the pan and cover with a lid. Cook slowly for approx 10 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent, again, take care not to burn, the onions should not be browned but instead just melted and soft.
- Add the sugar and balsamic vinegar to the onions and stir well well to ensure the onions are coated. Cover again with the lid and continue to cook for a further five minutes, again making sure they don't catch.
- Add the beef stock to the pan and stir well. Boil gently, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
- In a heatproof jug (you can even use a mug) or bowl mix the corn starch/flour with the cold water to create a thin, lump-free paste.
- Pour a little of the hot gravy onto the starch mixture and mix thoroughly. Pour the starch mixture back into the gravy. Raise the heat to high and boil hard for 10 minutes or until the gravy is slightly thickened.
- Season with salt and pepper and keep warm until ready to serve.
Note: To create a shine on the gravy take one teaspoon of ice cold butter and whisk into the finished gravy before serving. The butter will add even more flavour and make the sauce glossy.
Which Onions to Use for Rich Onion Gravy
The onions most favourite are red onions as they provide just the right amount of sweetness without making the gravy too cloyingly sweet. If you prefer a slightly sharper flavour, then use a standard yellow or even a white onion. You can also use large shallots with which you will create a much softer finished gravy.